In the mid-90's, one of the main reasons why Prince changed his name to 'The Artist Formerly Known As Prince" and that unique symbol was his displeasure with his label Warner Brothers.
In 1993, during negotiations regarding the release of Prince's album The Gold Experience, a legal battle ensued between Warner Bros. and Prince over the artistic and financial control of Prince's output. During the lawsuit, Prince appeared in public with the word "slave" written on his cheek. Prince explained his name change as follows:
The first step I have taken toward the ultimate goal of emancipation from the chains that bind me to Warner Bros. was to change my name from Prince to the Love Symbol. Prince is the name that my mother gave me at birth. Warner Bros. took the name, trademarked it, and used it as the main marketing tool to promote all of the music that I wrote. The company owns the name Prince and all related music marketed under Prince. I became merely a pawn used to produce more money for Warner Bros…
I was born Prince and did not want to adopt another conventional name. The only acceptable replacement for my name, and my identity, was the Love Symbol, a symbol with no pronunciation, that is a representation of me and what my music is about. This symbol is present in my work over the years; it is a concept that has evolved from my frustration; it is who I am. It is my name. (Wikipedia)
I guess time does heal all wounds because Prince and Warner Brothers Record have struck a new deal. The new deal will allow Warner Brothers to release unheard material from Prince's vault. It will also give ownership of Prince's master recordings of his classic hits. Read the full release below:
Prince and Warner Bros. Records today announced a new agreement that will see the release of long-awaited, previously unheard material, while giving the artist ownership of the master recordings of his classic, global hits. At the same time, the deal extends Prince's relationship with Warner Bros. Records, through an exclusive global licensing partnership that covers every album released from 1978 into the nineties. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
For Prince fans worldwide, the new partnership will open a veritable gold mine. The surprise announcement comes just in time for this summer's 30th Anniversary celebrations of the artist's breakthrough album and film, Purple Rain, which were released in 1984. For the first time, Prince will be releasing a digitally re-mastered, deluxe version of this classic album. Other planned projects will follow.
Prince said, "A brand-new studio album is on the way and both Warner Bros Records and Eye are quite pleased with the results of the negotiations and look forward to a fruitful working relationship."
"Everyone at Warner Bros Records is delighted to be working with Prince once again: he is one of the world's biggest stars and a truly unique talent" said Cameron Strang, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. Records. "We are also very excited about the release of new and re-mastered music from one of his greatest masterpieces."
A couple of days after this announcement, Prince released a new single on Warner Brothers called "The Breakdown" that was recorded back in 2012 and features Andy Allo. In my opinion, this track is one of my favorite new tunes from Prince that I have heard in long time. Take a listen below and let us know what you think.